By late afternoon, the scene of the bloody shootout was still being attended to by police. Photo: Kaizer Nengovhela.

Update: Bloody shootout leaves 18 suspected cash-in-transit robbers dead


* The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Fannie Masemola, says police have broken the back of a syndicate possibly responsible for a number of Cash-In-Transit (CIT) heists in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and Gauteng.

* Various units within the SAPS have been keeping observation on a group of suspects who were allegedly planning a Cash-In-Transit (CIT) heist in Limpopo. The observation was made for a number of days before they identified an address in Eltivillas (Louis Trichardt).

* Sixteen males and two females were declared dead at the scene.

* At a second address in Thohoyandou, four suspects were arrested.

* Ten vehicles, including several high-powered performance vehicles, and seven automatic rifles have been seized.

* A senior police officer attached to the DPCI was wounded during the shootout and is currently receiving medical care in the hospital.

* General Masemola led a delegation of senior police officers to the crime scene this afternoon and says police are clamping down on serious and violent crimes throughout the country. “We continue to heighten police visibility throughout the country. Many thanks to the team who has worked hard to stamp the authority of the state. We wish the injured member a speedy recovery. We do believe this syndicate has been involved in a number of CITs in this province, Mpumalanga, and Gauteng,” said Gen Masemola."

The quiet suburb of Eltivillas in Louis Trichardt resembled a war zone this afternoon (1 September) as police and suspected cash-in-transit robbers exchanged gunfire. The shootout ended in the deaths of eighteen suspects. 

The bloody confrontation seemingly followed after police received information that a planned cash-in-transit robbery was to occur in the area. They immediately mobilized, gathered further intelligence, and organized a special operation.

A residential premises in Eltivillas was identified as the suspects’ “safe house.” When police arrived at the premises, the suspects immediately started shooting. The police returned fire, and after a lengthy exchange, 18 suspects were fatally wounded. 

Further investigation continues.


Date:01 September 2023


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